A Year of Drops: Use Your Car Less

by Katie LaFond

Step Five: Use Your Car Less

  • If you’re near your workplace, ride your bike. Keep your clothes in a bag and change at work.
  • If you’re near the places you do your errands, ride your bike. Child bike trailers can be handy for hauling groceries. I had a tricycle with a basket on the back which was a great grocery-getter.
  • Combine trips. I do much of our household shopping on my way home from work.

    Photo by Luxomedia, used under a Creative Commons License

    Photo by Luxomedia, used under a Creative Commons License

  • If you live in an urban area, consider public transportation or walking for short trips.
  • Can you carpool?  Some offices help arrange car- or vanpools too.  Ask your HR department about it.
  • Do you have “stuff” in your car? More weight means reduced gas efficiency. Roof racks create drag, and reduces gas efficiency. If you can remove it and only use it when you need it, consider it.
  • When replacing your car, consider a more gas efficient car


This is part six of Katie’s thirteen-part series on how to walk more lightly on the Earth.  Read more: introduction, step 1 (recycle), step 2 (reuse), step 3 (reduce), step 4 (compost).

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